A soldier from County Durham had been drinking before his death at an army base in Iraq in December 2008, an inquest has heard.
The inquest into the death of Lance Corporal David Wilson heard from the colleague he was with on the evening before he was found slumped over a desk with a gun by his hand.
Warrant Officer Anthony Todd told the coroner at Crook in County Durham that the pair had drunk around 300 millilitres of vodka because it was the end of their tour together.
He said they were aware that drinking alcohol was against the rules and they were no more than merry and tipsy.
Warrant Officer Todd told the inquest that Lance Corporal Wilson had asked him to be his best man that night and was excited about the recent birth of his daughter.
The inquest will resume tomorrow.
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The incident took place on Sunday October 4th close to Marton Road in the town.
71-year-old Robert Howard was in jail at HMP Frankland and was due to give evidence at a re-ordered inquest in Belfast.
The victim, a Leeds woman aged in her fifties, was walking her animal along Bootham in York on Friday evening at around 8pm.